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Againn. How is it?

I have seen a little on the board about this place. Seems they have a good brunch, but the rest of the time the tidbits are rather tepid regarding the food? Any opinions?

Really, we are looking for a good meat-eria for tonight. We are a little burned out on Ray's and Fogo and I saw the Againn review in the Washingtonian, but would happily accept ideas for a mid-week meat-fest.



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  1. I can only vouch for the brunch, but I can say the quality was sky high. The attention to detail is impressive. Go for the curried cauliflower soup, the potted pork (this is like a standard French rillettes - fairly boring until you add the onion marmalade which makes it amazing), and the flageolets (a side order or served with the lamb). The mushy peas served with the fish and chips are great.

    Have you looked at the menu online? Meat is mostly an 8 oz steak, lamb shoulder, and roast chicken.


    3 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      Yeah. We ended up at Honey Pig. It was great. Thanks for the response Steve. I am gonna try and hit Againn this weekend.

      1. re: sekelmaan

        The corned beef hash at the brunch is very, very good.

        1. re: sekelmaan

          i'd recommend againn. been there a couple times for dinner. in addition to the potted pork, we had pig head and pork pate on the charcuterie board. the waitress said that they butcher the entire pig on site. thats points in my book!

          in terms of meat, i haven't had the steaks, but i can speak very well of the pork belly and lamb (which i can't find on the online menu now). *one thing to note is that the menu seems to be changing, either for variety or them just figuring out what sticks.

          on the side, i'd have to recommend the shepherds pie and chicken pot pie. also can't go wrong with the brussel sprouts and bacon!

          we also had the oysters / mussels, but in my opinion the land-based dishes are done better here.

          they have a decent selection of drinks. and you can rent your own scotch locker!

          i was tepid the first time i went, but the opinion is moving upwards now...

      2. I have been twice....both times.....Ah..Ok. The real good stuff is their brunch and the beer.

        1. We actually did go last night to Againn (Steve- you were very convincing!) and had an excellent meal. Againn is definitely in my top ten restaurants in the city, with potential to move to top five on return visits. I started with the pint of prawns with some sauce, can't recall the name- rose marie? something marie. Excellent, fresh, clean and sweet tasting prawns. The sauce, whatever it's called, was great, like thousand island minus the relish, and w/ a hint of something- sherry maybe. Loved it. My husband had the potted pork, which was great. Similar to the faux gras at Central (I think they even come out in the same cute mini hinged mason jar). The onion marmalade really did make the dish (wish they provided a little more).

          For my entree I had the salmon and the pearl barley risotto. Perfectly cooked salmon- med rare, with wonderful flavor. The pearl barley side was awesome and a perfect complement- very, very buttery, which went really well with the salmon. But very rich, I couldn't finish the last few bites it was so rich (but not overly sauced, just the butteriness of the barley). Accompanied by a frisee and oyster mushroom salad- perfect tart dressing to cut the richness of the fish and barley. Close to my favorite salmon dish in the city, another visit back will problem confirm it (yes, I liked it so much I can't imagine branching out until I'm sick of the salmon).

          Husband had the shepard's pie, which he loved. Made with lamb, which I don't like, so can't speak to it.

          As good as the salmon was, dessert was exponentially better. By far my favorite dessert in the city, by far. Split the sticky toffee pudding which was essentially soft, semi solidified caramel chunks of bread soaked in more caramel, with a rich caramel sauce. Layers and layers of awesome caramel. Topped with stout ice cream, which had a subtle sharpness that cut through (but not too much!) the sweetness of the caramel. Anyone that likes caramel should seek out this dessert.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mjhals

            Glad you liked it. If you love salmon, maybe some day you can try the salmon red curry at Thai X-ing. Amazing. Though, it's getting difficult to get seated at Thai X-ing. Only two tables, and now that they have a reservation 'system,' you definitely have to call at least a few days in advance.

            1. re: mjhals

              The sauce was probably Marie Rose; it's an Irish seafood sauce that's basically mayo + ketchup, and sometimes a little hot sauce. If you like it, Eamonn's in Alexandria also has it for their fish.

            2. Had dinner here last week. Started out a bit peeved because when the host sat us at a table that had a draft and I asked to be moved, he said he could but the area was closed and it would be a pain for the waiter. Well, I didn't want to do that so I stayed in the cold. About 5 minutes later, another couple was sitting at the table I'd requested.

              From there, though, everything was uphill. The waitress more than made up for the little service issue at the start. She was super friendly and knew the menu very well. The hanger steak was just excellent and the pork belly has crackling. I love crackling. It wasn't as unctuous as the belly I've had in Brittan, but it was really good. And they will even make you extra crackling if you ask.

              Both the sticky toffee pudding and the banoffee pie were great. My boyfriend orders STP any place he sees it and said this was the best one he's had in the USA.

              1099 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001

              1 Reply
              1. re: Giggling Gourmand

                This sounds nice. Thanks for the post. I missed brunch this weekend, so I am going to try againn. Or maybe I'll go in to the bar one night this week.

              2. I'm going to Againn for the first time tomorrow for lunch as part of the Free Dessert Day (http://www.opentable.com/promo.aspx?m...).

                What are people's favorite lunch items especially out of the sandwiches? I thought the crab cake sounded good---but I'm pretty much open to anything (besides pork). I'm excited to check this place out because I hear great things. Also a free toffee pudding is not bad at all (everyone raves about this dessert...I don't think I've ever had toffee pudding, but there's a first time for everything haha).

                3 Replies
                1. re: Elyssa

                  I've been there for lunch once and we had the ham and cheese and the burger - both were great. The burger may have changed...it had sun-dried tomatoes on it when I was there last. The beef quality was freaking fantastic. It was one of the best burgers I've had in quite some time.

                  Also, I haven't had it, but I'm willing to bet the house-made pastrami or corned beef are both great, also.

                  1. re: Raids

                    I thought the corned beef was quite good. Not the best I've ever had (probably Deli City) but tasty. It came with a nice little assortment of pickled vegetables, which I always appreciate. The sandwich that has my eye, though, is the BLT, which I am looking forward to trying next time I get over there.

                    Deli City Restaurant
                    2200 Bladensburg Rd NE, Washington, DC 20018

                    1. re: Raids

                      I was thinking about the pastrami as well. Good to know about the burger. Might be swayed to get that---I'm a sucker for a good burger and a huge fan of sun-dried tomatoes.

                  2. Just got back from lunch at Againn as part of Free Dessert Day (http://statedinner.wordpress.com/2010...) and really enjoyed my experience there.

                    From start to finish the service was friendly and helpful. We had 2 people waiting on us (I suspect one was a waiter and the other was a manager...both were helpful and friendly). I ended up getting the crab cake sandwich with the mixed greens (as tempted as I was to get the "chips'...which looked awesome. I'm attempting to more healthy).

                    The crab cake itself was very good. It tasted fresh with not too much filling. The outside was breaded in what I believe were panko bread crumbs which created a nice, crisp, crunch on the outside. It was served on a brioche bun (what did I say about eating healthy? Oh screw it!) with crisp lettuce and what they called a marie rose sauce (which is really just the classic ketchup, mustard, mayo mixture). It was served with lightly dressed mixed greens. Overall it was a really delicious lunch!

                    My friend got the corn beef sandwich with chips...that dish looked awesome. One thing we both really appreciated was the plating. There were all these cool little dishes and platforms that the sandwiches were served on. My salad, for example, was served in a mini cast iron dish. And my friends food was served what looked like a chopping block lazy Susan. Pretty cool.

                    For dessert we didn't get a choice unfortunately, so I didn't get a chance to try the toffee pudding. But what we did get was free, so I can't really complain. The free dessert was homemade ice cream sandwiches. Tasty vanilla ice cream sandwiched between 2 homemade chocolate chip cookies. These were a perfect end to a nice lunch. I will certainly be back to Againn to explore more of their British menu.

                    1. I've only ever been for dinner. I really like the pub fare items - both the bangers & mash and the fish & chips are simple and delicious dishes.

                      The banoffee pie is one of my favorite desserts in the city, and fun to share out of the Mason jar it's served in.

                      1099 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001

                      1. I've been here twice, once at the bar and once for lunch. But experiences were excellent. It's very nice to have this as a potential nice professional lunch/classy upscale happy hour option in this neighborhood. A corned beef sandwich and Guinness pretzels and a cocktail made for a very nice evening at the bar, which a nice small room in the back made an excellent professional lunch destination with a larger work group.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: emcentar

                          My husband and I had dinner there a couple months ago (with a Groupon or LS deal) and we liked it a lot. Definitely want to go back since there were several menu items we wanted to try. The service was odd, though - don't remember specifics, I just remember that they seemed confused. There was one server in training, so that may well have thrown the others off some. Not bad service, just odd.